While on their way to rush Fort Worth City Hall, protesting students from area highschools marched past the small school where I teach. The protesting students came in two clusters; the first smaller than the second, both waiving homemade signs saying "Viva Mexico" and a few waiving small Mexican flags. Some protesters were smiling and laughing while others where shouting.
Some students from my small high school had seen the protesters up the street and my students quickly made their own sign that read something to the effect of: "We're Proud to Be American." And so as the small cluster of Hispanic (and a few white) protesting students walked in front of my school with their police escort, some of my students who spent their lunch break outside the school began yelling at the protesters who were yelling and honking as they walked and drove down the street in front of our school.
One student from my high school was acting like a goof, rolling around in a wheelchair that had been donated for a prom fundraiser and the police escort was distracted away from the prottesting seen and failed to see one of the student protesters throw a full Ozarka water bottle at my shouting and mocking students.
The police office turned his attention back on the protesting scene just as one of my bystander high school students threw the water bottle back into the group of protesting students. As I understand it, the police became enraged and came into the small crowd of my students and aggressively grabbed a girl from the crowd whom was presumed to have thrown the bottle back and who was shouting at the protesters.
This girl was then arrested and taken to juvenile hall...according to her parents they were charging her with resisting arrest.
Other students at the highschool became enraged and a teacher had come to calm the situation and to talk to the police to figure out pertinent details. Many students became enraged, especially as they were directed into the building early from their lunch break. Two students threw punches into the wall breaking the drywall and cutting themselves.
As students piled in from the protesting scene outside, my director tried to calm them, explain the situation (which none of them understood at all) and tell them about how their reaction was poor. Most of our students were enraged with the police and protesters and then with the staff of our school for not standing up to the police. Obscenities were flying and the tension level was very high...so much so that I eventually locked the front door and was monitoring it so that no student could get out (especially since the police had warned that a 2nd group of protesters would probably we walking down our street soon).
Eventually the energy level cooled down and parents picked up the angriest of students and the proper phone calls were made. The 2nd group of protesters did come and it was a much bigger group than the 1st and so we were thankful our students were inside and that once again we were able to lock the doors.
If nothing else I think this is a good opportunity to create dialogue and understanding about political movements and the democratic process. These same students will have something to picture when they hear about civil rights issues of the 60's and now they've been brushed up current events, and our students now know about the rights of protesters and their lack of rights as persons that disagree with the protesters.
The one thought that I am left with after the 2nd day of student walk outs in the area (yesterday in Dallas and today in Dallas and Fort Worth) is to what degree of knowledge do the protesting students have of the event that are standing up for?
Related Tags: Immigration, Protests, Student Protests, Fort Worth, High School, Walk Out, Mexico, Juvenile Arrest, Legislation,Social Issues, Current Affairs